Turkey is the most dangerous place for journalists

Turkey, as ranked by Reporters Without Borders, is the leading country in imprisoned journalists. [1] In an effort to suppress dissent, journalists that go against the status quo are routinely detained in Turkey. And since the attempted coup in 2016, even more stringent measures have been enforced to ensure that opposing views are not expressed. Living in a modern and ‘civilized’ world, it’s shocking to see the self proclaimed ‘World’s Police’ not only stand idly by in the destruction of the freedom of speech but also help those in the ruling class of Turkey.

Serena Shim was an American journalist who was reporting on Turkey IN Turkey and was subsequently killed after exposing the Turkish government for allowing foreign terrorists to enter into Syria. [2]

Serena’s sister, Fatmeh, stated in 2015 that Serena caught Turkey using refugee camps as a cover to smuggle terrorists into Syria. She also caught trucks from the World Food Organization smuggle arms into the hands of the terrorists.

She predicted her death when she stated in an interview that she was worried about her safety after Turkey accused her of being a spy.

This is what she told Press TV, two days before she was assassinated. “Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”

Two days later she (and her cousin who was the driver) was killed in a ‘car accident’ when a heavy vehicle collided with her vehicle. Initially, Turkish officials said they could not locate the car or the driver. They also stated that Serena died at the scene and both Serena and her cousin were sent to separate hospitals.

As Fatmeh stated in an interview, those same officials reported days later that they found the vehicle and the driver and that Serena had died in a hospital due to heart failure.

“There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”

These contradictory stories only add to the ‘conspiracies’ and what is equally as appalling is the complete lack of accountability that the US has asked for.

The United States are not only not doing anything to investigate into Serena’s obviously suspicious death but mainstream media in the US has done absolutely nothing to report on this. Furthermore, the US government hasn’t even so much as offered their condolences to the Shim family.

It is downright disgusting that the United States, claiming to be the ‘World’s Policeman’ can just let one of their own citizens be killed while they are doing their job in reporting truthful, honest and necessary news.

Even though she suspected her life to be in danger from the Turkish intelligence, and stated it on national TV, the American embassy as well as the government did absolutely NOTHING to investigate her murder.

The fact that the US did nothing to help Serena or her family is incriminating in itself. Was it because the US were arming these terrorists? Or did they fear the repercussions that would inevitably come if an US ally was blatantly caught helping and arming ISIS militants?

While journalists like James Foley [3] were described as martyrs and heroes, Serena was left to die without so much as an inquest into her death.

Serena was 28 at her time of death with two children. Her motto was ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.’

A martyr to journalism and an example to all.

[1] https://rsf.org/en/news/turkey-world-leader-imprisoned-journalists

[2] http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-journalist-killed-in-turkey-for-revealing-the-truth-regarding-isis-daesh/5551946

[3] http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/08/james-foley-an-american-hero/

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The story of a 20th century child laborer

Iqbal Masih was 13 years old when he was assassinated in his home country of Pakistan. Born in 1983 in Muridke, Pakistan, Iqbal was forced into child labor when his mother ‘loaned’ his name to a local businessman for Iqbal’s older brother’s wedding. When 2 years went by and the debt still unpaid, Iqbal’s mother was forced to give him up for child labor.

Bonded labor is essentially selling your services in an attempt to pay off a debt. It is the promise of physical labor in return for a loan. [1]

He worked in the businessman’s carpet factory for 14 hours a day and 6 days a week. Not only was the pay minimal (didn’t support basic needs or even come close to buying his freedom back) he was also beaten and whipped when his work suffered or when he wasn’t moving as fast. [2]

Although bonded, slave and child labor are all outlawed in Pakistan, rampant corruption within the government and the police force allow children to be taken advantage of.

At 10 years old, Iqbal was able to flee with some fellow youths who also worked at the carpet factory.When they ran to a police station to report the heinous crime, the officers were more inclined to collect on the ‘finder’s fee’ than to protect the young boys.

He was forced back to Arshad, Iqbal’s ‘owner’ and under the direction of the police, was chained to his carpet machine. He was forced to continue to work through a combination of beating and starvation.

His determination and relentlessness allowed him to attend a freedom day celebration of the Brick Layers’ Union 2 years later where he learned of his rights as a laborer and also the unlawful nature of child slaves.

He volunteered to speak in regards to his story that day and union leaders decided to help him and fight for his freedom. After numerous inquests into the legality of the carpet factory (which employs many child slaves), Arshad decided to free Iqbal.

There Iqbal went on to become an advocate, leader and literal poster child for the fight against child slavery. His small stature due to numerous beatings and malnutrition made him appear to be 6 or 7 years old when he was already 12. He used his size to sneak into factories and talk to the children to see if they were forced labor.

He eventually joined the Bonded Labor Liberation Front School, a school for child slaves or escaped child slaves, where he finished his schooling in 2 years as opposed to 4. He wanted to become a lawyer so that he could continue his fight against child slavery.

After flights, speeches and conferences around the world advocating for the freeing of all child laborers, he returned home on April 16, 1995. He was assassinated in broad daylight as he was shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun.

Police documents claim the killing was an accidental firing caused by a local, Ashraf Hero, whilst many around the world believe that this is a blatant coverup for big manufacturers who wanted Iqbal dead.

The Human Rights Commission looked into this case and agreed with the police’s findings although controversies and rumours are still floating about more than 20 years later.

At only 13 years old he not only helped free hundreds (if not thousands of slaves) but he also stood up for what he believed in. He was and is REAL and TRUE to what he is. He died for his cause. He is a martyr.

We can only hope that there are more people who are willing to fight for a just cause. Or simply stand up and say ‘That’s wrong.’

Actors or celebrities with a big platform and a large following need to use that as a megaphone to pine for justice. People such as Ashton Kutcher [4] , Akon [5] and Zach Galifianakis [6] are doing the right things with their popularity.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage

[2] http://moralheroes.org/iqbal-masih

[3] http://thefreethoughtproject.com/tag/pakistan-iqbal-masih/

[4] https://www.infowars.com/ashton-kutcher-in-war-against-pedophiles-and-sex-trafficking/

[5] https://globalgrind.com/4081754/akon-launches-solar-academy-provide-electricity-africans/

[6] https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/13jhsx/til_that_zach_galifianakis_was_approached_by_nike/